Seamless communication between various business functions is integral for sustainable organizational growth. In Colony Nursery and Landscape’s scenario, communication between the two stores is mandatory for the successful implementation of the customer awards system. The inability of the two stores to share information harmoniously creates an information silo—an information management system that cannot share information or communicate freely with other information systems in the organization (Pearlson & Galletta, 2019). In this case, the information systems at the respective stores present information silos.
Why Information Silos is a Problem to Organizations
They Hamper Information Flow. The presence of information silos creates several challenges for organizations. They hamper information flow in the organization since information flows vertically within the silo but isn’t shared with other business functions. As highlighted in Colony Nursery and Landscaping’s case, the presence of information silo severely restricts the exchange of information within the two stores, thereby hindering the implementation of the customer reward system (Pearlson & Galletta, 2019).
They Threaten the Accuracy of Data. Also, the presence of information silos threatens the accuracy of data in an organization. Having integrated tools that collect data about customers, partners and organization’s prospects bolsters the efficiency of organizations. However, the presence of information silos make data prone to being incomplete, outdated or missing; this lowers the value and usefulness of the data. Such isolation of data leads to objectivity in the data that tilts in favor of the team or department holding the data. Therefore, working with information silos leads to poor quality data since assembling the fragmented information is difficult to gather (Pearlson & Galletta, 2019).
They Hinder Collaboration. The presence of information silos in an organization creates a less collaborative environment since each business function in an organization works independently on the data that they have access to. This makes it difficult for the organization to share a common vision. Consequently, environments with information silos lack transparency, cohesiveness and trust among employees. This leads to competition and rivalry between teams pursuing their micro-goals (Gray, Issa, Pyer & Troshani, 2016).
They Give an Incomplete View of the Organization. Formulation and implementation of strategies require a holistic view of the organization. Presence of information silos complicates C-level executives’ role of consolidating the company’s data to provide a holistic view to formulate strategically fit decisions. With the information silo, information from sales, marketing and accounting departments cannot be linked to provide a clear position of the organization at a glance. Consequently, leaders can make decisions based on incorrect or incomplete data.
Why Organizations are Moving to Cloud
Organizations are moving to cloud to modernize their data platforms to capitalize on advanced analytics and new-age applications. A study by Deloitte points out that data modernization and cloud are highly related. Actually, they reinforce each other. According to Linthicum (2017), organizations move to cloud for the following reasons;
Cloud Offers Cost-Efficient and Stable Storage. Organizations are moving to the cloud since it provides a convenient way to save data without investing in costly on-premise infrastructure. Establishing physical data centers is costly, as it involves a range of expertise and physical resources. Conversely, when moving to a cloud computing service, only a subscription is necessary. Also, the organization is free to unsubscribe at its convenience. Generally, this saves on cost and leads to a better return on investment.
Cloud Offers Flexibility. Moving to the cloud provides organizations with enhanced mobility and flexibility. With the cloud platform, employees can access files, software and data remotely, unlike the on-premise storage hardware where employees have to go to the office to access files. Also, moving to the cloud enables organizations to monitor their business efficiently.
Moving to Cloud Provides Scalability. Moving to the cloud provides organizations with an opportunity to upgrade and purchase additional storage instantly. The organization simply pays the extra cost. On the other hand, traditional storage takes a significant amount of money and time.
Data Security. Moving to the cloud prevents the possibility of a breach in the security protocol. It enables the deletion or moving of sensitive data into another remote account. On the contrary, a security breach in on-premise storage compromises data and results in data loss.
Moving to Cloud Facilitates Collaboration for Workers. With the cloud, users can work on the same document simultaneously. This eliminates the storage of multiple versions of the same document and time spent consolidating the changes.
Moving to Cloud Offers a Variety of Choices. There are a variety of cloud services such as IaaS, SaaS and PaaS, among others. Therefore, organizations can pick the best suiting solution based on their requirements. Similarly, there a variety of plans to choose from.
What is the Effectiveness of Cloud Services in Solving ERP Information Silo
Cloud-based services are useful in solving information silo issues. Cloud storage makes the ETL (extract, transform and load) process faster and easier. It takes advantage of cloud-based infrastructures such as ETL tools and data warehouse designed to function effectively in their environment. Cloud-based ETL tools and services break down silos by offering technological means to gather information from several sources into a central location for analysis. It handles data integrity matters so that all employees are handling new data. Also, cloud data platform can run intensive analytics on both non-relational and relational data (Kapp, Latham & Ford-Latham, 2016).
How ERP System and Awards Program Would Provide a Competitive Advantage
Undoubtedly, using the reward system and cloud system will provide Colony Nursery and Landscaping a competitive advantage. Integrating the reward system with cloud storage leads to customer retention. The reward system evokes loyalty in the customers, whereas the ERP enables the organization to monitor sales, insights on customer behavior and deliver the best customer experience.
Also, using the ERP and reward system provides Colony Nursery and Landscaping with a clear view of its business. The ERP provides data visibility, detailed data reporting and analytics by linking data from the two stores. Consequently, the firm can monitor customer financials and data. On the other hand, the reward system enables to monitor customer purchases. Thus, this enables the firm to forecast the demand for its services accurately and plan for service delivery by staffing accordingly.
Why Implementation of ERP Requires Reengineering
Reengineering of the business process ensures that business processes are optimized before the implementation of the ERP. This ensures that the software functionality matches the process steps required. Consequently, this improves the implementation of ERP by configuring the relevant software features to ensure that the software fits the process. Reengineering provides a clear understanding of the business processes for employees as well as documentation to facilitate employee training and implementation. Therefore, performing a business reengineering makes the process cost-effective and leads to better results (Kapp, Latham & Ford-Latham, 2016).